Women’s Handball World Cup: Against Iran – gaining momentum for the tournament

As of: December 1st, 2023 5:51 p.m

In the second preliminary round game for the German handball players at the World Cup in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the motto is: pick up speed. Opponent Iran is considered the group’s weakest opponent.

Emily Bölk had predicted it the day before the opening game. The game against the Japanese would not be a sure-fire success. “Basically, it is a bit fraught with uncertainty. Everyone has to feel comfortable going into the tournament“, said the captain before the game. Getting used to it took longer than expected. And it ended with a nervous thriller and the 31:30 victory in the last second. “II would have liked us to have won a little more clearly today. But basically it was a typical opening game“, said Bölk.

Initial nervousness shake off

Shaking off the initial nervousness, the second preliminary round game should be perfect for that. Opponent Iran is considered the weakest team in the group. “Accordingly, we go in as favorites and clearly want to take two points,” said Bölk. The Iranians clearly lost their first game against Poland 35:15, the style of play unusual for European teams. “The Iranians are not as well-coordinated as the Japanese. Women’s handball is still in the development stages there“, explains national coach Markus Gaugisch.

It is only the second time that the Iranian team has taken part in a World Cup. In 2021 they finished 31st out of 32 participating teams. Probably the most emotional moment of the tournament and her greatest success at the time: In the game against Norway, goalkeeper Fatemeh Khalili was chosen by your fans as “Player of the Match” excellent.

Get into the flow

I think it’s important to focus on us and what we want to do better compared to the Japan game“, Alina Grijseels gives the direction. National coach Gaugisch’s team had a difficult time against Japan, especially in defense, which is actually the German team’s greatest strength. They were unable to seamlessly continue their good offensive performance in the first half after halftime.

Reducing mistakes, gaining self-confidence – that’s what Saturday will be all about. And to give the entire squad playing time. “We can certainly change things up a bit more. We want to pick up speed and really arrive in Denmark“, says Bölk, “Of course it’s good when you get into a flow, which can be incredibly important in a tournament like this.” That could already be the case in the third and final preliminary round game: Poland will be the strongest opponent for the time being.